What They Say:
In a world where dirty jokes don’t exist, where the mere utterance of a ***** word will thrust you into jail, a hero must rise up as a symbol for all things lewd and rude. The mysterious Blue Snow, proudly wearing panties on her face and armed with naughty images and a foul mouth, will bring the art of dirty jokes back! With her erotic terrorist group, SOX, she will press against the stiff authority of the oppressive Decency Squad and step on their hard and overbearing rules.
Tanukichi Okuma is the son of an imprisoned ero-terrorist. Rather than following in his father’s footsteps, he plans to stay on the track of morality and wholesomeness. Just like his dream girl, Anna Nishikinomiya, he attends Japan’s most moral school. But after an encounter with Blue Snow, his virtuous plans are ****** and he finds himself entangled with SOX. Will the pursuit of smut tarnish what hope he has with the pure Anna, or will he *** around, stimulated by the panty wearing deviant and her filthy mouth?
The audio presentation for this release brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo while the new English language dub gets a 5.1 boost, both of which are done up using the Dolby TrueHD lossless codec. The series is one that works a pretty good design to it as even when it’s just dialogue there can be a lot going on with oversized reactions and some fun placement with how the characters move about. It’s not an action series per se but it does get around and layout of everything definitely makes for a lot of fun. There are a lot of incidental sounds and gag sounds that come into the mix that when combined with the music definitely keeps the whole thing flowing and fun. It’s a bright and energetic show and the sound design captures it without problems as everything comes through clean and clear throughout.
Originally airing in 2015, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The twelve episodes are spread across two discs with nine on the first and three on the second where there’s also a good chunk of extras. Animated by JC Staff, the series definitely has a lot of detail and effort put into it with both character designs and settings but also just the sheer variety of trying to play up the sexuality of everything through other means. There’s a really nice level of detail throughout it and the color design is strong as it has a lot of pop that fits into everything well and gives it a lot of life. Colors are solid throughout, backgrounds maintain a great look, and there’s no noise to be had when it comes to some of the bigger solid color fields. It’s a very appealing looking show that shines even more so when it gets down and dirty with the sexuality.
The packaging for this limited edition release is pretty fun as we get a solid heavy chipboard box that holds the oversized Blu-ray case along with a spacer box with some goodies. The front of the chipboard box goes with a black background and the whole spray painted SOX element which is decent and sets up a kind of subversive side to it in a mild way. The back cover has the one-sheet on top of it that replicates the front but has a piece of paper over it that breaks down the premise, the extras, and some shots from the show along with the technical grid. It’s an interesting approach that works well while trying to hide certain elements of the show. What we get underneath the sheet isn’t bad by any stretch as it’s a simple cast image against a white background with lots of little bits of silliness to it that works nicely.
The case within the box is pretty nice as the front cover has an image of Kajo on it in her school uniform done in illustration style that’s really nicely detailed while the back cover has her and her partner in crime along with the supporting cast in various states of undergarments spread out, which is in the same style and just as appealing. The artwork on the reverse side features a familiar key visual image of Kajo while the left side does a splatterpaint breakdown of the episodes by number and title along with the extras. When it comes to the bonus item box we get a SOX sticker card to proudly display, a couple of cute little pins to wear, and a fun single sock of the worm creature from the show so that you can go all in.
The menu design for this release is a bit odd as we get an initial image that has the logo in the middle that shudders a bit while behind it we get some stems and suds on the floor, which has its own meaning to be sure but doesn’t really connect well. Once that plays briefly we get a look at some of the main characters looking down on it all but that’s about it. Considering the wackiness in the show or some of the static imagery, this just feels like a visual misfire in an otherwise pretty solid release. The navigation along the bottom is kept simple with black and red text on a white strip that doubles as the pop-up menu during playback. Everything is straightforward and easy to access so there are no problems here.
The extras for this release are kind of standard but I have to give a little extra push to it. The release comes with the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences, of which there are many, and going the distance in including them all is a definite plus. The set also comes with the familiar web previews for new episodes and a collection of the original promos for it. We also get a couple of audio commentaries where it’s definitely a lot of fun to listen to the production team talk about what went in (and out) of the show. The extra that feels like it could have been more but was a nice attempt is the Moms Watch Shimoneta in which we get a trio of local area mothers that listen to about ten minutes of clips from the show and provide their own colorful commentary on it. Yeah, part of it is that we’re supposed to be amused by their being shocked but I would have liked to have had one that was totally into it and knew what to expect to some degree just to buck the usual trend.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the light novel series by Hirotaka Akagai that began in 2012 and finished in 2016 with eleven volumes, Shimoneta is a pretty fun sex based series that aired in the summer 2015 season for twelve episodes. Animated by JC Staff, the show is one that plays up innuendo to a degree and just runs hard and fast with the raunchy material in a way that will make you grin, spit take, and then realize that other shows are going to have to work hard to surpass this one. Which is part of the fun of pushing the envelope. I’m definitely a fan of the sexy oriented shows like this since we really don’t get them often and they tend to do things in interesting ways, especially if there’s some real quality behind the animation like what we get here.
The premise is one that takes the dystopian future angle in an intriguing area where, with its focus on Japan paving the way for a purer and more true world, the government has Public Morality bureaus that have worked hard over the last couple of decades to take anything naughty and remove it from the public and private sphere. This puts everything in a hugely chaste kind of way and those that say the wrong thing have the government come down hard on them. The idea is one that’s not new and the execution here is certainly flimsy, but by setting up morality offices within schools that compete to be the best and gain prestige by being the most moral, well, there’s certainly worse ways to do it.
The show focuses on the best of the schools where Tanukichi has just entered it as a first year student as he follows after Anna, the student council president and his crush. What’s interesting is that she’s his crush because she is so pure and true toward public morality and that’s what draws him as he wants to be like her. He’s not trying to corrupt her – in fact, she ends up becoming so corrupted throughout the show because of her attraction to him that it’s an amusing inverse of the situation as it’s not what he wants out of her. Tanukichi is a traditional nice guy but he ends up getting caught up in the actions of Kajo, the student council vice president who moonlights as Blue Snow, a morality terrorist that’s fighting against the laws and other efforts to make this a pure country that can lead the world. She does so through ways of bringing dirty things to the surface and there’s some fun variety to the approaches she takes once she essentially blackmails Tanukichi into helping her.
The gags here definitely work as the pair, along with a few others along the way, come up with their best ideas to get the student body to realize that there’s a lot to like about dirty things and embracing it all. Part of this is to stave off other laws that are coming down the pike that will largely neuter a generation in many ways but a lot of what we get really is just utterly dirty fun. Some of it is blatant to be sure but there’s so much material focused on the idea that these kids don’t know anything that when it’s placed right in front of them they don’t realize how sexual it is. That’s both boon and frustration for Kajo and Tanukichi because it shows how much they have to do and just how difficult it is. Tanukichi’s reasoning behind being involved is fairly flimsy overall but as it goes on the obvious is there in that he’s fully on board, not realizing it, and also slowly coming to really like Kajo – though thankfully it doesn’t overplay a romance at this early stage.
From the perspective of enjoying copious amounts of fanservice, hilarious jokes, tons of sexuality, and lots of crazy moments, Shimoneta delivers in spades for me and I definitely enjoyed it – though eleven light novels feels like overkill and one season of anime is enough. But I was also really interested in some of the ideas they put forth in just how neutered the kids are here because they know absolutely nothing about anything. So even just seeing a couple of insects copulate puts them into such a frenzy of sexuality that they’re so pent up that you expect them to explode. Things are just so bad off here that you really do wonder how they can function at all and how there can even be another generation being born considering things are clamped down on in both public and private settings. There are plot holes like this to be sure but you have to ignore them so you can enjoy the mean feast itself.
A series like Shimoneta can be really terrible and there are certainly plot holes you could drive a planet through here. But it’s also the kind of show where you can ignore them, for the most part, because the series goes in some really fun and outrageous ways as it progresses that I found myself laughing out loud regularly and just loving the absurdity of it and how far they push the envelope. The dub has a blast along the way, the series looks great, and it’s a fun package overall. This is a series that’s not aimed at a wide audience and it definitely embraces that element in the right ways which in turn made me really enjoy it for what it does. A little tightening up in some of the “world building” areas would have gone a long way for me but for more casual viewers it won’t make a difference and you’ll just be laughing at how hard and fast it goes with these characters.
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Moms Watch Shimoneta, Clean Opening, Clean Closings, Promos, Web Previews, Audio Commentaries
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: C+
Extras Grade: B+
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: November 29th, 2016
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.